April 8, 2020

ITALY: Doctors In Italy Have Finally Began Widely Prescribing Hydroxychloroquine In Certain Combinations In Rome And The Wider Region Of Lazio With A Population Of Around Six Million.

Trust Nodes News
written by Staff
Sunday March 29, 2020

Doctors in Italy have finally began widely prescribing hydroxychloroquine in certain combinations in Rome and the wider region of Lazio with a population of around six million.

According to Corriere della Sera, a well known Italian daily newspaper, Dr. Pier Luigi Bartoletti, Deputy National Secretary of the Italian Federation of General Practitioners, explains that every single person with Covid-19 that has early signs, like a cough or a fever for example, is now being treated with the anti-malaria drug.

The drug “is already giving good results,” Bartoletti says while Malaysia reveals they have been using it since the very beginning. Bartoletti further adds that the drug:

“Must be used with all the necessary precautions, it must be evaluated patient by patient. It can have side effects. But those that take it are responding really well.

We have just understood that the virus has an evolution in two phases and that it is during the second phase, after a few days (about a week), that the situation can suddenly, in 24 or 48 hours, worsen and leads to respiratory failure requiring intensive care.

The results that we are starting to accumulate suggest that hydroxychloroquine administered early, gives the possibility of avoiding this evolution in a majority of patients and is also helping us to prevent hospitals from filling up.”

Incredible. What is more incredible are the statements of Professor Christian Perronne, Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Garches University Hospital, made in an interview with a French weekly magazine.

Referring to the European Discovery trial in which UK is taking part with only 800 patients, Perronne says:

“I refused to participate because this study provides for a group of severely ill patients who will only be treated symptomatically and will serve as control witnesses against four other groups who will receive antivirals. It is not ethically acceptable to me.

We could perfectly well, in the situation we are in, evaluate these treatments by applying a different protocol. In addition, the hydroxychloroquine group (which was added to this study at the last minute), should be replaced by a hydroxychloroquine group plus azithromycin, the current reference treatment according to the most recent data.

Finally, the protocol model chosen will not provide results for several weeks. Meanwhile, the epidemic is galloping. We are in a hurry, we are at war, we need quick assessments.”

America is to start yet another study which is to take one month even while one thousand people or more are dying worldwide today. In Italy however doctors are finally not waiting anymore with Perronne saying:

“Even though the overwhelming evidence from large randomized studies is still lacking, I am in favor of a broad prescription for the following reasons:

1. We have a large body of evidence showing that in vitro hydroxychloroquine blocks the virus. We also have several clinical results indicating that this product is beneficial if administered early and we have no mention that it harms or is dangerous in this infection (only one study, poorly detailed, Chinese, on 30 patients with control group, did not observe any benefits but also no harmful effects). What is the risk of administering chloroquine straight away: nothing!

2. This drug is very inexpensive 3. It is well tolerated in long-term treatment. Personally, I have successfully used it clinically in the chronic form of Lyme disease for 30 years at a dose of 200 mg or even 400 mg/day.

I and hundreds of other doctors are able to judge its excellent tolerance in humans. The main contraindications are severe retinal and unbalanced heart disease.

Cardiovascular events remain exceptional if care is taken: to proscribe self-medication – to check with the elderly taking a lot of drugs that there are no drug interactions (with long-term diuretics in particular) and that the rate of blood potassium is within the norm.

Apart from these precautions, the undesirable effects are minor. They are even more so as the treatment is short, which is the case against Covid-19.

It would therefore be wise to produce hydroxychloroquine in very large quantities without further delay, to make it easily accessible to infected people…

I note that Italy has just authorized the wide distribution of hydroxychloroquine on medical prescription from the start of the infection and that other countries are preparing to do the same. What are we waiting for? To have more dead?”

Incredibly the doctor says in regards to this European study for which we have to wait six weeks (and as a note all these quotes are from a rough translation):

“There will be nothing to hope from this study concerning hydroxychloroquine is administered too late. The protocol indicates that the product can be given only if the oxygen saturation of patients is less than 95%, that is to say patients with a massive oxygen supply or who must be put on artificial ventilation. This is not the right indication.”

As the doctor said above, treatment needs to be given early to stop the second phase from kicking in as that is what is causing hospitalization and in some cases even death.

Quite interestingly, now that they have began treatment, Corriere della Sera has just tweeted: “Contagions in decline in Lombardy.”

So hopefully UK, US and other countries will now learn from Italy and get this early treatment out there before deaths reach Italy levels or even more for USA as they will if people are not treated, but with early treatment this should be contained as in South Korea and many other countries where they have been giving early treatment from nearly the very beginning.

Data from week two of largest ongoing international market research study on COVID-19

April 08, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Week two data of the Barometer study from 5,000 physicians in 30 countries conducted by Sermo reveals the emergence of treatment patterns. Sermo, the largest global healthcare polling company and social platform for physicians, has published unrestricted access to the results of its Real Time Barometer study on sermo.com.

Key findings:

Usage patterns and efficacy perceptions among COVID treaters:
  • The top three treatments that doctors most reported prescribing were Azithromycin (50%), Hydroxychloroquine (44%), and bronchodilators (36%)
  • The treating physician percentage for Hydroxychloroquine went up across the board globally
  • COVID treaters reported having prescribed or seen Hydroxychloroquine prescribed increase by 11% (from 33% to 44%) week over week and Azithromycin increase by 9% (from 41% to 50%)
  • Italy had the highest increase in having prescribed or seen Hydroxychloroquine prescribed (from 50% to 71%). Reported usage in New York nearly doubled (23% to 40%), week over week.
Perceived treatment efficacy:

The top three treatments that have been used/seen used and reported as very or extremely effective among COVID treaters include:
  • 52% plasma from recovered patients (n=261)
  • 38% Hydroxychloroquine (n=1160)
  • 37% non-approved drugs (e.g. Remdesivir) (n=389)
  • Italy, Spain, France, and China have higher perceptions of Hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy vs. the rest of the world
  • Plasma from recovered patients is perceived as more effective than Hydroxychloroquine (52% of COVID treaters felt it was very to extremely effective vs Hydroxychloroquine at 38%)
  • Plasma, however, is reported as one the least utilized treatments, suggesting either a lack of availability, scalability, or awareness
  • Usage of anti-HIV drugs (e.g. Lopinavir plus Ritonavir), drugs to treat the flu (e.g. Oseltamivir), and plasma from recovered patients, remains steady week over week at 19%, 17%, and ~5%, respectively; use of non-approved drugs (e.g. Remdesivir) decreased slightly from 12% to 10%
  • Starting to surface in the data as a treatment option is Tocilizumab, an IL-6 inhibitor
Most popular Hydroxychloroquine dosage regimen:
  • 42% report using 400mg BID on day one (800mg total), then 400 mg daily for 5 days
  • 31% report using 400mg BID on day one (800mg total), then 200mg BID for 4 days
An anonymous Pediatrician on Sermo commented, “I took Chloroquine for a year in southeast Asia to prevent malaria. So did another 3,000,000+ soldiers. I suffered no ill effects and this letter is proof of no death. The dead do not have time for the FDA's randomized clinical trials. Just ask them.”

“The data is fantastic, representing a large international data set and our first glimmer of treatment. While reason for optimism, as a clinical researcher, I strongly recommend to pause at further interpretation until we can measure the clinical effectiveness,” said Dr. Brian Ferris, Vascular Surgeon and President of the Pacific NW Vascular Society in Washington state.

“We are humbled by the tireless work of doctors on the front lines and their contribution, enabling us to collect this data and make it universally available,” said Peter Kirk, CEO of Sermo. “To all the doctors who are participating, in aggregate you form the powerful voice of doctors globally.”


Most results are reported for individual countries with a minimum sample size of 250. A sample size of 250 point estimates have a precision of a +/- 6% precision at a 95% confidence level. Where sample sizes are smaller, N sizes are noted. Thirty countries included in the study are the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, India, and Hong Kong. No incentive was offered to respondents. Full methodology.

About Sermo

Sermo is the largest healthcare data collection company and social platform for physicians, reaching 1,3MM HCPs across 150 countries. The platform enables doctors to anonymously talk real-world medicine, review treatment options via our proprietary Drug Ratings platform, collectively solve patient cases, and participate in medical market research. For more information, visit sermo.com.

Niki Franklin
Racepoint Global on behalf of Sermo
+1 617 624 3264

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